The Washington D.C.-based band Bluebrain are the first to create a site-specific album that responds directly to listener location. Taking cues from The National Mall in downtown D.C., the album syncs songs and melodies to a listener’s location as they travel to various zones within the Mall.
The album will be delivered as an iPhone app and works by tracking a users location via the phone’s built-in GPS feature. Hundreds of zones within the Mall are tagged, and the sound plays according to where the listener is located in proximity to them. The zones overlap presenting standalone melodies, rhythms, instrumentation and pace specifically designed for each.
Separated from cultural and historical reference, the album pushes the boundaries of deconstruction not only in song but in the way a very album can be produced and presented.
The National Mall is the first in a series. Upcoming works include audio designs for Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, and a piece that will stretch the entire length of California’s Highway 1.
Monetizing music ain’t what it used to be. In an age where digital music files are easily ripped, downloaded and distributed, the urge to pay for that great new album has steadfastly declined.
Alongside torrents, mixtapes, and social websites like Hype Machine, Exfm and We Are Hunted, streaming services like Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG and Spotify make music discovery easy. It’s been reported that with an annual growth rate of nearly 95%, subscribers to cloud-based music services will exceed 161 million in 2016.
This makes it easier for an artist to share their work with the masses – but how can the same artist pay the bills with the concept of free?
When it comes to the actual making money part, bands have no choice but to get creative. And many are doing just that – by inventing new channels and resurrecting familiar ones.
The indie-rock band Radiohead is perhaps the ultimate example of exploring new distribution opportunities in the 21st century. In 2007, they incorporated a “pay what you want” model for the album In Rainbows.
For their recent release The King Of Limbs, the band decided to offer up several options. The album will come in two digital formats – either 320 kbps MP3s ($9) – or CD-quality, uncompressed WAV files ($14). For the super fan, the third and pricier option is a newspaper album ($48 + $53). It offers MP3s or WAVs along with vinyl, CD, several large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-color piece of degradable plastic to hold it all together.
Following in the footsteps of Trent Reznor and Daft Punk, British electronic duo The Chemical Brothers are next in line to lend their golden touch to the silver screen.
Out this weekend, Hanna tells the story of a young girl raised in the wilds of Finland with a very unusual childhood. While most kids enjoy things like sports or video games, Hanna was trained to be the perfect assassin by her ex-CIA father. As she gets older, she’s sent into civilization for the first time on a top-secret mission where we see her show off her skills to the fullest.
The Chems are a great fit for the action-packed flick featuring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollanderand Olivia Williams. With energy reminiscent of Run Lola Run, we follow Hanna across Europe as she eludes secret agents and faces revelations about her life during a turning point in her adolescence.
The Soundtrack is available now, and the film is due April 8.